In Search of the Unknown
B1 In Search of the Unknown
Code B1
Rules required D&D Basic Set
Character levels 1-3
Campaign setting Generic D&D
Authors Mike Carr
First published 1979
Linked modules
B1 B2 B3

In Search of the Unknown a module for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, designed for use with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set rules, and was included with the 1st edition of the D&D Basic Set[1]. In all, the adventure ran through six different printings in addition to a preproduction version that appeared in promotional artwork. The first printing was in 1978, although an incorrect copyright lists it as 1979.

Mike Carr wrote In Search of the Unknown and intended it for use as an instructional adventure for new players. Interior art was by David C. Sutherland III, while Sutherland and David A. Trampier did the cover of the original monochrome edition. The updated 1981 edition featured front and back cover art by Darlene Pekul.

The module is coded B1 because it was created as the first adventure for the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Set. It includes a number of empty rooms and caves meant for the Dungeon Master to fill in with their own monsters and treasure, selected from tables provided in the module. The adventure is designed for characters of 1st to 3rd level, and was written for DMs and players with little or no gaming experience. It's simple, straight-forward plot and design typified the "Dungeon Crawls" of the era, but it still was regarded as good introduction to running the D&D game. [2]

A lengthy introduction explains the workings of the adventure and provides a great number of tips for novice Dungeon Masters and players.

Though most regard B1 as "generic," the first printing suggested a number of locations for placing the module in the World of Greyhawk campaign setting. This information was left out in subsequent printings.

Module Contents[]


Many years ago two wealthy adventurers, Roghan the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown, built a hidden complex known as the Caverns of Quasqueton. From this base they conducted their affairs away from the prying eyes of civilization. While of questionable ethical standing the two drove back a barbarian invasion and gained the support of locals. Eventually they gathered their own army and went on an expedition against said enemies where they met their demise.

The player characters enter the story at this point hearing a variety of rumors provided in the module. Each PC knows one or more of the stories although the veracity of them is somewhat questionable. The rumors mostly involve a great treasure hidden somewhere in the Caverns of Quasqueton.

Caverns Upper Level[]

A variety of monsters wander through the finished upper level of the dungeon including Orcs, Troglodytes, and Giant Rats. The GM checks periodically to see if the group encounters these menaces in addition to the dangers in each individual room. Most of the rooms come with blank spots where the GM fills in whatever monster or treasure is most suitable for their campaign.

The finished upper level served as a home for Roghan and Zelligar and contains much of their personal possessions. As is typical in these early adventures a number of traps await an unwary group. Some of the more interesting rooms include an area filled with pools (some hazardous and others not) and a wizard's laboratory.

Caverns Lower Level[]

The randomly generated monsters in the lower, unfinished level differ from those above and include Zombies and goblins. Many of the caves on this level include no description at all and the GM must devise his own contents for these areas.

Some of the interesting rooms on this level include a museum, an arena, and grand cavern of bats but for the most part the GM decides what fills each chamber.


The end of the module includes a fairly lengthy list of foes and treasure for the group to fight and find. It even includes a list of characters of various classes the group might encounter while exploring the dungeon. Also included are a number of pre-generated characters the group might use to play through the adventure.


  1. Lawrence Schick. Heroic Worlds (Prometheus Books, 1991).
  2. Turnbull, Don (June/July 1979). "Open Box: Dungeon Module Review" (review). White Dwarf (Games Workshop) (Issue 13): 16-17. 
  • Carr, Mike. In Search of the Unknown (TSR, 1979).

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